eBay today submitted its Mobile Manifesto to Government, setting out what industry and policymakers must do in order to improve the UK’s mobile infrastructure in order to support growth in the country’s digital and retail economy.
The manifesto includes seven critical areas of focus to boost the UK’s wider economic recovery through the support of this growing industry: faster mobile broadband/better coverage; supporting cross-border trade; mobile optimisation; mobile and local (mobile technology enabling local services); mobile payments; an open mobile internet (net neutrality); and skilling up for next generation of mobile.
The research, based on a survey of 2,000 UK smartphone users, found that 45% are dissatisfied with download speed, while 68% have concerns about giving personal details over a mobile connection.
Miriam Lahage, eBay’s VP of global fashion, said: “As smartphone and tablet ownership increases there will be even greater potential rewards for companies investing in mobile, and this is particularly true for retailers.
“At eBay in the UK we now see around 10% of sales by value transacted on mobile devices, but we need the right infrastructure in the UK to match this demand.”
Anton Gething, co-founder and product director at social commerce and recommendations experts nToklo, said: “I agree with the driving principles behind the manifesto eBay has put forward today. Mobiles have fast become pervasive across all aspects of our lives, whether accessing social media, news and of course retail. The objectives the manifesto sets out for the future of mobile retail are what the industry needs, including making shopping more viable and accessible on mobile. Mobile commerce is the natural evolution for online commerce and the growth in mobile commerce shows this.
“The mobile device is an intricate part of the consumer’s retail decision making process, augmented by many of the features mentioned in the manifesto, like the benefit of location information, cross border retail, net neutrality and better network access. However, although one of the manifesto points is 'optimising for mobile' it seems more of a self supporting list for virtual online brands like eBay and does not emphasize enough the need to support the struggling brick and mortar retailers on the high streets and the opportunities mobile can offer to support this aspect of the retail economy.
“In addition to the longer systemic visions put forward in the manifesto, government should turn an immediate focus to promote and support the high street economy, which both employs and offers direct touchpoints to introduce new mobile strategies to consumers. Whether through improved access to Wi-Fi or educating consumers on how mobile devices and platforms can be used for mobile commerce, the High Street still offers a lucrative opportunity for retailers.”